OMG! Apple Configurator 1.4 is out — Supports iOS 7, Multi-Host Supervision, Simple MDM Enrollment

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Hey you guys! All 30,000/month of you. I have something to say, and I want the world to know.

I ❤️ Apple Configurator!

Don't you too? No? I understand. Configurator could very well be Apple's most misunderstood software. Most people who try Configurator will be under the impression that Configuration's forte is "accidentally erasing my iPhone." But when used properly Configurator does stuff with iPhones and iPads that no other software will do.

For starters, Configurator is the only way to supervise iOS devices. I'm going to write more about supervision in an upcoming article, because it is a really important concept in iOS 7. Briefly, supervision is Apple's way of saying that an iOS device is institutionally owned. Supervision unlocks additional management features that would be inappropriate on an individually-owned device (in Apple's opinion).

(A note of caution: in order to underline the gulf between institutional and personal devices, Configurator will always erase your device when either supervising and unsupervising. In fact it erases EVERY DEVICE that is plugged into your Mac when you hit "Prepare." Did you hear that? So unplug your newly-updated iPhone and iPad now, and plug in a spare iPod or something like that. Because when you are testing Configurator I promise you will be erasing lots of devices.)

If your devices are institutionally-owned and supervised, Configurator 1.4 packs a lot of new goodness:

  • Disallow AirDrop
  • Disallow iMessage
  • Disallow manually installing configuration profiles
  • Disallow modifying mail & calendar settings
  • Disallow modifying Find My Friends
  • Configure Web Filtering to whitelist or blacklist any sites -- pretty powerful stuff.
  • Allow or disallow pairing with other computers

Did you catch that last one? Previous versions of Configurator would always allow pairing only by the Mac it was originally supervised with. All other computers would be prevented from connecting to the device. That was good for many smaller implementations. But it was a big obstacle in some larger deployments. Now you have the option of allowing supervised devices to connect with any host.

Even if your devices aren't supervised, Configurator 1.4 is a very powerful tool. It has always been helpful with large deployments. Now it can automatically enroll devices it prepares into MDM without user interaction, and it even waits until WiFi is up to do that. It can manage new iOS 7 features such as managed open in, configure AirPlay and AirPrint, and install fonts.

So try it, and maybe you'll ❤️ Configurator too.

Apple Configurator 1.4 is available today for free on the Mac App Store. It is Mac only, and requires Mac OS X 10.8 and iTunes 11.1. Also see the release notes.

iOS 7 - device reuse can be difficult

cenders's picture
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With Find My iPhone turned on in iOS 7, your Apple ID password will always be required before anyone can Erase the iphone or reactivate and use the device.

So if we fire someone and they fail to give us their Apple ID password, they have effectively locked out of the phone preventing it from being re-used.

How are enterprises going to deal with this? Is there an MDM solution out there that can circumvent this or load a profile that prevents this scenario from happening?

Four more MDM providers added to the comparison for iOS 7

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Thanks to SOTI MobiControl, PUSHMANAGER, BoxTone and ProMDM for updating their entries on our Comparison of MDM Providers. Woo hoo!

In case you need another reason to update to iOS 7, here is a really long list of its security fixes

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Apple has posted a remarkably long list of security vulnerabilities friend iOS 6, and fixed in iOS 7. See this link:

Our Awesome Configurator iOS 7 Upgrade Machine

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You may have noticed how Apple's servers were a little stressed today. To overcome thin bandwidth, we used Apple Configurator and copies of the iOS 7 GM we'd previously downloaded (they are identical to the final release). And here's what it looked like:

The device in the center is a 16-port U16S by Datamation Systems. This cool little device has an API to switch individual ports between charging and syncing. (Available for sale from Tekserve!)

iOS 7 is out -- here's a list of IPSW download links

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Cribbed from the always useful

device current version date found
AppleTV(2G) (AppleTV2,1) 5.3 (10B809) 06/19/2013 18:04:01
AppleTV3,1 (AppleTV3,1) 5.3 (10B809) 06/19/2013 10:11:01
AppleTV3,2 (AppleTV3,2) 5.3 (10B809) 06/19/2013 10:11:01
iPad (iPad1,1) 5.1.1 (9B206) 05/07/2012 13:13:01
iPad2(wifi) (iPad2,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2(at&t) (iPad2,2) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2(vz) (iPad2,3) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2,4 (iPad2,4) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2,5 (iPad2,5) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2,6 (iPad2,6) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad2,7 (iPad2,7) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,1 (iPad3,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,2 (iPad3,2) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,3 (iPad3,3) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,4 (iPad3,4) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,5 (iPad3,5) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPad3,6 (iPad3,6) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone (iPhone1,1) 3.1.3 (7E18) 04/08/2010 21:05:48
iPhone3G (iPhone1,2) 4.2 (8C148) 11/22/2010 13:08:57
iPhone3GS (iPhone2,1) 6.1.3 (10B329) 03/19/2013 13:00:01
iPhone4 (iPhone3,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone3,2 (iPhone3,2) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone4(vz) (iPhone3,3) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone4S (iPhone4,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone5,1 (iPhone5,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone5,2 (iPhone5,2) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone5,3 (iPhone5,3) 7.0.1 (11A470a) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone5,4 (iPhone5,4) 7.0.1 (11A470a) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone6,1 (iPhone6,1) 7.0.1 (11A470a) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPhone6,2 (iPhone6,2) 7.0.1 (11A470a) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
iPodTouch(2G) (iPod2,1) 4.2 (8C148) 11/22/2010 13:08:57
iPodTouch(3G) (iPod3,1) 5.1.1 (9B206) 05/07/2012 13:13:01
iPodTouch(4G) (iPod4,1) 6.1.3 (10B329) 03/19/2013 13:00:01
iPodTouch(5G) (iPod5,1) 7.0 (11A465) 09/18/2013 13:54:01
last updated: 09/18/2013 16:28:01 EDT

We've updated our huge Comparison of MDM Providers for iOS 7

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We've spent a good number of hours over the last week updating our Comparison of MDM Providers for iOS 7. We've removed some of the more arcane sections that were getting in the way and have made the list easier to navigate. This was no small feat: there are over 100 points of comparison and 48 MDM providers.

Here are some of the many new fields we're now including:

  • Info Last Updated (date)
  • Supports iOS 7 (Y/N)
  • Enrollment by Configurator
  • Enrollment by Apple Device Enrollment Program
  • Geofencing
  • Allow Custom XML profiles
  • Supervised MDM features: Prevent Game Center, Prevent iMessage, App Lock (iOS 6), Global HTTP Proxy (iOS 6), Web Site White & Black-Listing (iOS 7), Prevent Manual Profile Installation
  • App Management: Push Enterprise Apps, Separate Managed and Unmanaged Data, Per-App VPN, Push App Configuration, Pull App Feedback, App Wrapping, App Developer SDK
  • VPP Licensing Integration
  • Reassign VPP Licenses
  • Support for other devices: Apple TV, Samsung, Nexus, HTC

So how do we learn about every MDM provider on the planet? Our secret is that we crowd-source the data. Much of it comes from the providers themselves, but other parts are added by a dedicated group of MDM aficionados. And if you see an incorrectly-ticked box, please edit the page and fix it. Hey, it's a wiki!

So I'm extra proud that here, on Day 1 of iOS 7, our chart has been updated for the following MDM providers:


If your favorite isn't on this list, just log in and update it! I'll announce updates as you do.

How to use DNS to block iOS 7, and other updates too

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[updated 6:16 PM EDT]

iOS 7 is arriving tomorrow. Those of you with many devices and little bandwidth (I'm looking at you, education) may be worried about those multiple 1GB+ downloads. Apple's caching server (currently in beta) isn't going to help yet — iOS 6 doesn't know how to use it. So here is something that may help.

iOS devices check for new versions by polling the server This is done via HTTP, port 80. Specifically, the URL is:

If you block or redirect, you will inhibit the check for software updates. If you are really ambitIous, you could redirect the query to a cached copy of the XML, but I haven't tried that. Please remove the block soon; you wouldn't want to prevent those security updates, would you?

Good luck. For the rest of you, happy updating tomorrow! We be here with plenty of news.

App Store allowing legacy app downloads to support older hardware/software

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According to a story in, the iOS App Store is allowing downloads of older versions of apps if the newer versions would be incompatible. So say you are running the iPod touch 4 and you won't be able to upgrade to iOS 7. Even if your apps are upgraded to iOS 7-only, you'll still be able to download and use the older iOS 6 versions.

Anyway, the picture explains it better than I can.

Hey Configurator, Get Me Some Logs!

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318's Charles Edge has discovered a way of getting more debugging info from Apple Configurator:

  1. Close Configurator
  2. In Terminal type: defaults write LogLevel ALL
  3. Open Configurator
  4. View logs in Console

To go back to normal logging use the command defaults delete LogLevel.

Thanks, Charles!

Profile Manager SDK?

wakaka's picture
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I am working in a company that is extremely interested in deploying an in house MDM solution to administer iPhones for our employee. After a day of work, I have set up a Mac Mini with the server app and successfully enrolled an iPhone to the MDM and able to push profiles over the air.

However, using the server app provides us with an web interface which we believe to be not as flexible. As such I am wondering are there SDK or API which I can use to write some programs to automate the process. Currently, I do not have an Enterprise Account with Apple yet and I want to confirm if all these are available before signing up.

The iOS 7 Apple Event for the Enterprise (that never happened)

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Why do the consumer features get all the attention? Join us in the land of make believe as we imagine what an enterprise focused Apple keynote event would have been like....

7 iPad Deployment Mistakes

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These are the slides from my presentation at the 2013 MacIT Conference and AirWatch Connect conference. Thanks to everyone who attended! A packed room each time!

Fact Sheet: iOS 7

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Over at TechRepublic, Erick Eckel has created a concise list of what's new in iOS 7. Anything missing?

Apple Configurator 1.3.1 restores mass profile installation (if you know the secret key)

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Apple Configurator 1.3.1, released a couple of weeks ago, improves stability on OS X Lion and partially restores the "mass profile installation" feature that had been removed from Configurator 1.3. However, this feature is hidden behind the "Option" key. Please allow me to explain.

When Configurator installs a configuration profile on an unsupervised iPad, the iPad will prompt you to confirm installation. (Supervised devices as assumed to be institutionally managed, so profiles are installed without protest.) This must have been confusing to some Configurator users, because Apple decided to simplify the feature. In Configurator 1.3, the process was changed to a sort of step-by-step wizard, where profiles could be installed only on a single iPad at a time. Now some would say that the entire point of Configurator is to scale iOS deployments, so this one-by-one approach was quite a step backwards.

Apple has read our bug reports, and Configurator 1.3.1 has restored the ability to mass install profiles on all your unsupervised iPads at once. Well, only one profile at a time, but it is a step in the right direction.

How to do it
So now, on the Prepare pane, click "Install Profiles..."

You'll need to connect an iOS device to get past the first screen of the wizard.

Now, create the profile to deploy. Alternatively, you can import previously saved profiles from your local drive.

When you are done, don't click "Next". Click "Cancel" instead to return to the Prepare pane. Now hold down the "Option" key on your keyboard, and click "Install Profiles..." again. The result is quite different from before.

You can use this popup menu to select the profile (one one at a time!) to install on all connected iPads.

That sly Option key
By the way, Configurator makes liberal use of the Option key to reveal secrets. Here are a few I know about.

Device Menu (normal / with Option). This allows you to import local copies of IPSWs.

Control-click on supervised device (normal / with Option). This one is great to remove any phantom devices from your supervision list.

Supervise > Restore > Edit Stored Backups... (normal / with Option). This allows you to import and export iosdevicebackup files.

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